Joanna Paterson studied BA (Hons) Commercial Photography at AUB, graduating in 2006. Since then she’s worked with a host of brands, such as John Lewis, Marks and Spencer and O2. She’s travelled to the other side of the world in pursuit of her craft, and even returned to AUB as a visiting tutor. Joanna talks to us about all things freelance, achieving goals and finding mentors.

“I came to AUB because it was still doing the two-year foundation degree”, says Joanna.

“I was 29 or 30 when I did the course and at that time AUB attracted a lot more mature students.

“I think the younger students liked that there mature students, because the older students were really driven and focussed, so it made a nice atmosphere”.

However it wasn’t just the course that attracted Joanna to idyllic Bournemouth, Joanna explained that escaping the hustle and bustle of big city life also played a part in her coming to study at AUB.

“I was from London and it was good to study outside of London.

“There were less distractions, based on the campus. Bournemouth was a much quieter place than London”.

Joanna goes on to detail how important other factors are in the student experience when remembering her time at AUB, especially the visiting tutors (a role which she now finds herself in), and the facilities.

“We had some really great visiting tutors. That was the most important thing, being exposed to practitioners who did tutorials with us.

“That’s how you really learn, from people who are out there already doing what you want to do. Having a good variety of that coming in impacts on your work.

“The facilities at AUB are really great, it’s a supportive environment which feels quite family-ish”.

After graduating from AUB Joanna went on to get a scholarship to study a Masters Degree in London. Spending the next 15 months studying at London College of Fashion, Joanna also spent her time assisting photographers and it was while still on her Masters she got her first agent.

“I was quite lucky to get interest from agents almost immediately, whilst I was on my Masters, maybe it was too soon really…

“I started off with one agent and then changed quite quickly to another one that I was with for eight years.

“Now I have an agent in London and New York and I’ve been freelancing solidly since I left AUB.

“I’ve done commissions (advertising commissions) for John Lewis, M&S, O2, J.W. Marriott, Mothercare, Huggies, all high street names really.

“I’m trying to transition in to doing fashion really”.